Drink-driver more than a passenger: lies to police cost licence and $600

A MAN who drove under the influence of alcohol, crashed his car, then lied and told police it was his friend who was driving will be off the road for three months. 

Brendan Johnson changed his story twice before he came clean to police about his crash on August 22 last year. 

He was sentenced to a three-month disqualification and fined $600 in Orange Local Court on Friday. 

The 25-year-old and two friends had been drinking at Orange City Bowling Club and were served “a number of beverages” from about 7pm to 8.30pm. 

The trio left and Johnson drove his car from the club before losing control as he entered Endsleigh Avenue. 

Police facts said he tried to correct a skid to regain control but was unable to do so. 

The car mounted a gutter and hit a power pole head-on. 

The airbags in the car deployed but no-one was injured. 

A nearby resident heard the crash, rushed to the scene and called triple-0. 

When police arrived Johnson was sitting in the gutter.

Police breath tested him at the station where he recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.026, over the legal limit of 0.0 for a provisional license holder.

He participated in a recorded police interview and admitted he was the driver of the car when it crashed.

After the interview he proceeded to tell police officers he wanted to tell them “what really happened”.

He said it was in fact his passenger who was driving the vehicle.

He said he gave him the keys because he knew he was over the legal limit. 

Police started an investigation and had forensic specialists take DNA evidence from the car to determine who was driving.

Eventually Johnson reverted back to his initial story and declared he was in fact the driver of the vehicle.


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